Soon after the detonative outspread of the disastrous Zika virus last year, several countries including India flagged off an immediate alarm to halt the further spread of mosquito-borne disease. However, despite measures by the government, World Health Organisation (WHO), on May 26, confirmed the first three cases of Zika virus in India – all three of them from the Bapunagar area of Ahmedabad.
As per the WHO website, “On 15 May 2017, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare-Government of India (MoHFW) reported three laboratory-confirmed cases of Zika virus disease in Bapunagar area, Ahmedabad District, Gujarat, State, India. The routine laboratory surveillance detected a laboratory-confirmed case of Zika virus disease through RT-PCR test at BJ Medical College, Ahmedabad, Gujarat.”
“The etiology of this case has been further confirmed through a positive RT-PCR test and sequencing at the national reference laboratory, National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune on 4 January 2017. Two additional cases have then been identified through the Acute Febrile Illness (AFI) and the Antenatal clinic (ANC) surveillance,” it added.
As per Indian Express, the first person who is found to be positive with the virus is a 64-year-old male and the other two are 34-year-old lady, who had recently delivered a clinically well baby at BJMC and a 22-year-old pregnant female in her 37th week of pregnancy.
As per various scientists, the mosquitoes which are responsible for the diseases, become stronger during summer and the hotter it gets the better it carries the virus. Various national guidelines and action plans have been shared with countries and states to stop the outbreak and containment of spread in case of any outbreak.
People who are frequent travellers should get their blood test done immediately with special focus on IgM antibodies. The Indian Express report also suggests some protective measures to stay safe from the Zika Virus:
i. Try not to let mosquitoes breed around houses and vicinity.
ii. Use mosquito repellent products to protect yourself from mosquito bites, especially during the morning and evening time.
iii. One should cancel or delay trips to countries that are affected with the virus, pregnant women should stay extra alert about it.
iv. Women should try not to get pregnant while travelling in countries affected with the virus and for the next 8 weeks after leaving the area.
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v. People travelling to affected countries should strictly follow individual protective measure such as using mosquito repellent creams, electronic mosquito repellents machines, use of bed nets, full sleeves dress that covers most of the body parts.
vi. Those with co-morbid diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, chronic respiratory illness, immunity disorders, etc. should consult with nearest health facility before travelling to affected country.
vii. If a traveller gets fever within two weeks of return from an affected country, he/she should immediately consult a family doctor or nearest health facility.